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Will Washington Ever Change?
Republican Party Leadership Removes
Four Conservatives
from High Positions

Four conservative Republican House Members claim they have been removed from key committee assignments because of their principles.

The Republican Steering Committee removed Walter Jones of North Carolina and David Schweikert of Arizona from the Financial Services Committee; Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas were removed from the House Budget Committee.

At a Heritage Foundation weekly bloggers briefing Congressman Huelskamp said "It confirms in my mind the deepest suspicions of most Americans about Washington, D.C. -- It's petty, it's vindictive, and if you have any conservative principles, you will be punished."

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As a freshman congressman backed by tea party supporters, Boehner and other GOP leaders assured Huelskamp he could vote his principles and the views of his district. But actions often speak louder than words and this action speaks volumes about the current GOP House leadership.

Congressman Huelskamp (R-KS)Huelskamp said, "We've heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn't reach your particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote [which, by the way, in most cases was not the conservative position] then we're going to have to remove you from the committee." He went on further to say that all this took place behind closed doors. The Kansas Republican said "Whether it's the budget negotiations, whether it's everything else, it's usually done behind closed doors."

It turns out that Huelskamp was also canned from the House Agriculture Committee. So for the first time since at least the 1960s, agriculture-rich Kansas will not be represented on that committee.

But all this is not new. When I worked as a staffer on Capitol Hill there was a member who wanted to serve on a particular committee. He was told by the committee's ranking member "We'd love to have you join us. But there is one thing you must promise first and that is when I ask you to vote in a particular way that you will do so." The Representative agreed and was allowed to join the committee. Personally, I could never do that. It is like "selling" your representation, your vote. It is a matter of integrity and that is something we seem to have a hard time finding in Washington, D.C. these days!